Is it okay for an athiest to be a Muslim?
December 19, 2008 11:54 AM Subscribe
My close friend is converting to Islam. Do you think he's doing the right thing?
This is a sticky situation. Basically it's a shotgun marriage. He got his girlfriend pregnant, and now he has to get married, which is understandable given the circumstances I suppose (although it's not really ideal because he's really a liberal Westerner who wouldn't mind bringing up the kid out of wedlock). Okay, so that's one compromise, and I have no problem with it, but he's also living in an Islamic country which has a law which says that Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslim men so he has also agreed to publically convert to Islam to please the inlaws.
My problem with this is that he's actually an athiest, and so it seems hypocritical of him to publically come out and say he's a Muslim, when in fact he is nothing of the sort. Aside from the ideal of standing up for what you (don't) believe in, my gut feeling is that this is a bad idea because it will have weird consequences down the road for his family, kids, etc. It seems like it's one compromise too far and he should make a stand - say to his girlfriend "okay, let's keep the baby. I'll even get married, but I'm not going to pretend to believe in anything just for the sake of appearances."
His fiance knows it's a sham but his inlaws don't.
Anyway, he asked me what I thought and I told him, but I wasn't very convincing. Obviously I'm concerned about him screwing up his life by doing something which seems to solve his short term problems and meet social obligations, but in the longterm might be a recipe for unhappiness.
Am I right to be worried about this? I feel very sorry for him, and wonder whether he's doing the right thing.